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HCREDC offering classes for small businesses

The Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission is offering small businesses or potential new small businesses opportunities to improve the "bottom line."

Over the past several years HCREDC has been working to establish a solid, consistent, training program for local businesses, executive director David Collins said. The program is geared to individual needs and offered locally. 

"We continue to build relationships and improve what we are doing," Collins said. "I think we've made some substantial progress the past number of months.

 "I'm extremely excited about the offerings," he said.  "The series of workshops, if successful this winter and spring, will be continued in the fall with additional topics.  And the topics offered are based on what we hear you want.  So keep those requests coming in."

-A 10-week "Intro to Entrepreneurship" course will be offered from 6 to 9 Thursdays from Feb. 11 to April 15 in the Northwoods Bank community room.

Instructor Ann Johnson will offer a comprehensive introduction to entrepreneurial initiatives. The class is suitable for beginners as well as those who have been in business less than five years.

This program has been significantly overhauled since it was first offered a year ago, Collins said.  Each week will include a professional speaker and a local individual sharing their story, lab work or lecture. 

Those attending the classes, and doing the "homework," will have a completed business plan and a better understanding of the challenges and the opportunities a business offers.

 For one registration fee of $350 (plus an optional workbook at $90) up to two people within the same business may take the class.  Financial assistance may be available.

For an outline of what is offered in course or to register, e-mail or call 732-2256.

"Wake up your business" workshops, offering a variety of topics, will be held Thursdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m., most in the Northwoods Bank community room. Cost is $25 per workshop.

The sessions include:

-"Make $1,500 in two hours" - Instructor Lois Greisen will address business performance analysis, goal setting and reduction of overhead expenses. The class will be held Jan. 28 at St. Joseph's Area Health Services.

-"A quick look at QuickBooks" - Diane Morey will offer insight on understanding QuickBooks reports and statements and effectively using the business accounting software to manage finances. The class will be held Feb. 25.

-"Do you care about your customers?" - Lois Griesen will address customer service attitude, creating a culture of customer service and the cost of customer service March 25.

-"Low tech look at high tech solutions" - Instructor Lori Peterson will discuss Web sites, social networking and no cost or low cost technology that's available. The workshop will be held April 22.

-"What's your 80/20?" - Tom Miller will address pricing, the 80/20 rule, inventory management and cash flow May 27.

The educational opportunities are made possible through a strategic alliance that has formed among the following entities: HCREDC, the Business and Entrepreneurial Services Program (Minnesota State Community and Technical Colleges), Northwest Minnesota Foundation, the Hubbard County Area SCORE chapter and other regional organizations and friends